Baseball: FAU splits three game series against Rice University

FAU took two of three games in a weekend series against the Rice University Owls.


Erika Fletcher

Junior shortstop Armando Albert running out of the batter’s box against Rice University on March 3, 2023.

Maddox Greenberg, Business Manager

FAU Baseball (18-11, 5-4 C-USA) faced off against the Rice University Owls (14-14, 5-4 C-USA) this past weekend and split the series, winning two of three games.

Game 1 (March 31): Rice 1, FAU 0

The game was slow for both sides through the first five innings. Both defenses played well to start off, as both teams struggled moving runners over.

In the top of the sixth inning, Rice’s junior center fielder Connor Walsh knocked a solo homer to right field, which put Rice up by 1 run.

The bats on both sides stayed cold for the rest of the night, as both teams remained scoreless the rest of the game. Rice sophomore right-hander Parker Smith finished the game with 114 pitches, allowing seven hits on 32 total batters faced, with nine strikeouts.

FAU’s graduate right-hander Hunter Cooley, who exited after the seventh inning, struck out seven of the 26 batters he faced. He allowed one run on three hits and one error as FAU’s four-game winning streak came to an end. 

“That was a great game,” said Coach John McCormack, who is in his 15th season as head coach at FAU. “You have to give credit to their guy [Parker Smith]. As I told the team, all too often in sports and in life we always think about what we did wrong. And [Smith] pitched great.”

Game 2 (April 1): FAU 10, Rice 7

FAU and Rice both started off slow again, as neither were able to put a runner on base until the third inning. 

In the top of the third, Rice freshman shortstop Ben Royo hit a solo homer down the left field line to kickstart a fury of runs from both teams. 

With the bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth inning, senior third baseman Jackson Ross walked, sending junior shortstop Armando Albert to score for FAU. Ross’ base on balls plated the first run of a fourth inning rally that by the end, left FAU ahead 4-1.

Rice graduate first baseman Drew Holderbach hit an RBI single in the top of the fifth inning, helping Rice put up a pair of runs that shrunk FAU’s lead to 4-3.

In the bottom half, freshman second baseman Lucas Phelps scored a run early on, before junior center fielder Jalen DeBose scored another run on a sacrifice hit Hartigan putting FAU back up by three.

Rice sophomore DH Manny Garza hit a two-run homer in the top of the sixth inning to get Rice within one run of FAU. Holderbach then hit a double, scoring two more to go back ahead 7-6.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Phelps and DeBose both scored for FAU before Schanuel hit a double, sending Hartigan home. To cap the rally, Schanuel scored the final run for FAU after Ross hit a double down the third base line.

At the top of the eighth, junior right-hander Nicholas Del Prado took the mound and held Rice scoreless through two innings to seal the 10-7 victory for FAU.

Redshirt junior right-hander Jacob Josey, who got the start, pitched five innings for FAU allowing three runs on five hits and led the game with five strikeouts. 

Game 3 (April 2): FAU 14, Rice 4

In the series finale, FAU did not slow down, and blew out Rice by 10 runs. 

FAU notched a grand total of 15 hits in the game, which all started when Hartigan hit a two-run homer to left field in the bottom of the first to go up 2 runs.

Rice answered back in the next inning with an RBI single shrinking the lead to one. In the bottom half, Schanuel hit a single with bases loaded, kicking off a three-run rally that put FAU up 5-1.

In the top of the third, junior right fielder Aaron Smigelski then hit a double in center field, scoring two for Rice.

FAU answered back as Schroeder scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the half, kicking off a three-run third inning for FAU that left them ahead 8-3.

In the bottom of the fifth, Schanuel scored on a Ross double into center field. In the bottom of the seventh, Schanuel hit an RBI single to right field, starting another three-run rally for FAU, which left them ahead 12-4.

A sacrifice in the top of the eight added a single run for Rice; in the bottom half, Schanuel knocked a two-run homer, capping a 14-4 victory for FAU.

FAU’s next game will be on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., the final set of an eight-game homestand for FAU, where they’ll face off with the No. 19 Florida Gulf Coast University (23-5, 7-2 ASUN) Eagles. 

Maddox Greenberg is the Business Manager for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or DM via Facebook @maddox greenberg